Rev. Lennox Yearwood of Hip Hop Caucus on Divestment, Keystone XL, Climate Change and More

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(EnviroNews DC News Bureau) — Washington D.C. — Reverend Lennox Yearwood of the evermore popular Hip Hop Caucus, was interviewed on EnviroNews USA by Rob Brune. The transcript is as follows:

Rob Brune: How were you received with the tour of the colleges?

Reverend Lennox Yearwood: The tour was important, and actually, you know we actually in some of the spots we discussed divest. You know, we actually, that’s important. I think that’s one of the major pieces. The divestment movement is important because it… hits them in their pocketbooks.

I’m very proud of organizations, such as the foundations – Ellen Dorsey Global Wallace foundation, other foundations that are divesting. I am very happy to see that now there is over I think 400 campuses that are incubating or moving forth with a divestment movement campaign. That’s powerful. Because then we’re not just going to the streets but also to Wall Street. I think that’s important because I think those were the effects of the Occupy movement. They brought up that we have to deal with what they’re doing on that corporate side, so it is very encouraging to see the climate movement moving in that direction.

I think the next step though really for us is to continue to figure out how we can kind of bridge the gap of different communities. What I mean by that, there are a lot of (communities) of color who when they hear “climate change” aren’t understanding that that’s their issue so to speak. They think it’s not at the top of the list, but when you explain it in regarding to pollution, the toxins, the landfills, the power plants, the coal ash, all those things, they recognize that literally the high risk of asthma, the high risk of cancer in their communities, and they recognize that this same pollution is what’s causing climate change, they usually get outraged. And so the tour we just had, the Act On Climate Tour, did just that. It went out here to communities of color and it unified… It wasn’t just people approaching people of color but literally people, humans, coming together to unify a message about what do we got to do to fight for our planet long term, but also for the short term, what do we got to do now to stop our children from getting asthma, our grandparents from getting heat stroke, our moms and dads from getting cancer. What can we do now to do that? And one of the things we talked about on the tour was curbing the… having higher standards to curb the pollution knowing what’s happening, what’s coming out of those coal ash power plants. I think that’s one of the things that we’re pushing for now as well.

I think that there’s just a myriad of things that are going to happen. Reject and Protect or NoKXL is phenomenal. We’ve unified around that. I think that we have seen recently that the fracking judgments – people are now getting paid because they’ve been polluted. Recently in Texas, the family that just got $3 million, which cannot repay what they received as far as how they have been polluted with toxins, but it’s still important that now the polluters are having to pay for the injustice.

Mountaintop removal – there’s a huge push in West Virginia and other parts of our country who are unifying around this. Through the drought in California and wildfires on the west side, people are getting engaged in this process, and I think that definitely what we’re doing now for divestment and also how we’re fighting to make sure  we have standards in regards to power plants. All of these things coming together are unifying the movement to push for that we can truly stop global warming, and most important, we can transition from fossil fuels to clean energy.

Rev. Lennox Yearwood of Hip Hop Caucus on Divestment, Keystone XL, Climate Change and More

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